To be able to “call” a mind game as it unfolds is the first step to being able to step outside the game and assume a more functional, productive, helpful role. Karpman Drama Triangle (published in 1968 by Stephen Karpman, a student studying under Eric Berne, the father of transactional analysis) is a frequent mind game involving a Victim, a Rescuer, and a Villain/Persecutor. “Games in this sense are devices used (often unconsciously) by people to create a circumstance where they can justifiably feel certain resulting feelings (such as anger or superiority) or justifiably take or avoid taking certain actions where their own inner wishes differ from societal expectations. They are always a substitute for a more genuine and full adult emotion and response which would be more appropriate.” – Wikipedia

Victim: The Victim wishes to be rescued which means they have to be, or appear to be, unable to help themselves. The more helpless they are, the greater the appeal so there is a perverse incentive to be as helpless as possible. “The Victim in Karpman’s model is not intended to represent an actual victim, but rather someone feeling or acting like a victim.”[1] –  Wikipedia

Rescuer: “A classic enabler, the Rescuer feels guilty if he/she doesn’t go to the rescue. Yet his/her rescuing has negative effects: It keeps the Victim dependent and gives the Victim permission to fail. The rewards derived from this rescue role are that the focus is taken off of the rescuer. When he/she focuses their energy on someone else, it enables them to ignore their own anxiety and issues. This rescue role is also very pivotal because their actual primary interest is really an avoidance of their own problems disguised as concern for the victim’s needs.” – Wikipedia

Villain:  “The Persecutor is controlling, blaming, critical, oppressive, angry, authoritative, rigid, and superior” – Wikipedia. Persecutors often see themselves as the enforcer of society’s or necessary rules; the maintainer of order and discipline. Victims are frequently viewed, with or without logic, as having participated in their own fates.

Closing Quotes:

“In codependent relationships, the rescuer needs the victim as much as the victim needs the rescuer” – Barbara De Angelis 

Drama doesn’t just walk into your life out of nowhere, you either create it, invite it, or associate with people that bring it.” – Unknown

“Victims declare, “The world is responsible for me,” and never do anything to better their quality of life.” – Henry Cloud, Changes That Heal: The Four Shifts That Make Everything Better…And That Anyone Can Do

“There is a fine line between compassion and a victim mentality. Compassion is a healing force and comes from a place of kindness towards yourself. Playing the victim is a toxic waste of time and robs the victim of ever knowing true happiness.” – Bronnie Ware, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier